Professor Emeritus, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand; former Secretary General, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Surin Pitsuwan served as the ASEAN secretary-general between 2008 and 2012. In previous positions, he taught at the faculty of political science at Thammasat University and as a columnist for the Nation and the Bangkok Post. In 1984, Dr. Pitsuwan ran for a Parliamentary seat from Nakorn Sri Thammarat, his home town. He has been returned to Parliament eight times since 1986. As a member of Parliament, he was appointed secretary to the speaker of the House of Representatives (Chuan Leekpai), assistant secretary to the minister of the interior, deputy minister of foreign affairs from 1992 to 1995 and minister of foreign affairs from 1997 to 2001. Upon leaving the foreign affairs portfolio in mid-2001, Dr. Pitsuwan was appointed a member of the Commission on Human Security of the United Nations until 2003. Dr. Pitsuwan was also a deputy leader of the Democrat Party, Thailand. Additionally, he served on the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), charged with bringing peace and security back to Thailands South.Dr. Pitsuwan holds a B.A. in political science from Thammasat University and Claremont McKenna College, CA, as well as an M.A. and a Ph.D. in the field of political science and Middle Eastern studies from Harvard University. He is a Fellow of Salzburg Global Session 518 People, Peace and Planet in 2030: Shaping Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in 2013 and Session 543 1814, 1914, 2014: Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future in 2014.